|Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood|
I’ve worked in Country radio for more than twenty years yet I hadn’t been to Nashville since 1996. So I was quite excited when I got word that I’d be going there to help two of our DJs record interviews with country music singers and groups during Country Music Association Awards Week. Sadly, I didn’t get to stay for the awards show, but I had an incredible time anyway. Here are a few random thoughts and observations:
- Country singers make some of the airport terminal announcements. “Hi this is Tim McGraw. Welcome to Nashville.” “Hi, we’re Crook and Chase,” (they are popular hosts of a country music countdown show) “If you see an unattended bag, please report it using one of the courtesy phones.”
- Broadway Street is ground zero for live music and country music history. Bars line the street, each featuring live music performed by aspiring future stars. Tootsies is a famous one.
- I didn’t enter any of the bars but I heard plenty of music floating out of each. Slightly off-key covers, heartfelt originals, background stories preceding each song. Duos and trios performed on street corners with open guitar cases at their feet inviting contributions.
- Broadway balances the glitzy with the seedy. The seedy part surprised me a bit.
|A random street corner trio|
- Jason Aldean’s “Crazy Town” played in my head as I took it all in … It’s a crazy town full of neon dreams, everybody plays, everybody sings. One day they repossess your truck, next year you make a million bucks.
- I have to go back to Music City! I’m already planning it. I want to be there outside of the obvious crowd times like CMA Week in November or the CMA Music Fest in June. I’ll spend time listening to the struggling singers, visiting the Ryman Auditorium (original home of the Grand Ole Opry and know in music circles as the ‘mother church of country music’) and the new Country Music Hall of Fame. I strolled past those iconic facilities but I want time to explore them.
|The Ryman - original home of the Grand Ole Opry|
And I am already working on staying for the awards show next year. It’s a bucket list item for me.